Business Plans And Planning

1. What Typically Goes into a Business Plan

A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the foundation, strategy, and financial projections of a business. It serves as a roadmap for the business’s growth and is often used to secure funding from investors or lenders. A typical business plan includes:

Executive Summary: An overview of the business, including its mission statement, product or service offerings, and basic information about the company’s leadership team, employees, and location.
Company Description: Detailed information about the business, including the problems it solves, its target market, and competitive advantages.
Market Analysis: Research on the industry, market size, expected growth, market trends, and analysis of the competition.
Organization and Management: Information on the business’s legal structure, management team, and the organizational structure.
Service or Product Line: Details about the products or services being offered, including information on product lifecycle, intellectual property, and research and development activities.
Marketing and Sales Strategy: How the business plans to attract and retain customers, including pricing, promotions, sales channels, and sales strategies.
Funding Request: If seeking financing, details of the funding requirements, future financial plans, and proposed use of funds.
Financial Projections: Includes income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets for the next three to five years. This section should also include a break-even analysis.
Appendix: An optional section that can include resumes, permits, lease agreements, legal documentation, and other relevant documents.

2. Compare a Business Plan with a Business Strategy

Business Plan: This is a document that outlines the operational and financial objectives of a business and contains detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be realized. It is very detailed and usually covers a short to medium-term period (1-5 years). It is often used to pitch to investors or banks for funding and serves as a roadmap for business operations.

Business Strategy: This refers to the high-level plan or set of decisions that aim to achieve competitive advantage and effectively manage resources to achieve long-term goals. It’s more about the direction in which the business wants to go and how it will compete successfully in the market. Business strategy is more about the “why” and “what” part of the goals, focusing on long-term growth and sustainability rather than the detailed “how” of day-to-day operations.

3. Compare a Business Plan with Business Canvas

Business Plan: As described, it’s a detailed document covering various aspects of the business, including market analysis, financial projections, and marketing strategies. It’s text-heavy, detailed, and designed to be presented to external parties like investors and banks.

Business Model Canvas (BMC): This is a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing business models. It’s a visual chart with elements describing a company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. The BMC helps businesses to align their activities by illustrating potential trade-offs in a more accessible and understandable way. Unlike the traditional business plan, the BMC is succinct, covering key components of a business on a single page, which makes it easier to understand and adjust quickly.

In summary, while a business plan provides a detailed blueprint of how a business intends to achieve its goals, including financial forecasts and detailed market analysis, a business strategy outlines the overarching approach to winning in the market. Meanwhile, the Business Model Canvas offers a high-level, visual overview of the key elements of a business, focusing on how various parts of the business fit together rather than on the detailed operational or financial planning.

Download Jersey Business’ Business Plan Template

Business Model Canvas (BMC)

Tim HJ Rogers
Consult | CoCreate | Deliver

I support people and teams to grow, perform and succeed unlocking potential as a partner Consultant, Coach, Project and Change Manager
Together we can deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people I work with.

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My approach is to blend my expertise [Consultant, Coach, Project and Change Manager] with the strengths of our partners, ensuring that we consistently deliver high-quality, tailored solutions to our clients. My Associate approach not only fosters a dynamic and collaborative environment but also maximizes the value we deliver to our clients and partners alike. There is an optimum combination of factors or qualities which help people and organisations transform. It is a blend of listening, challenging and sharing and comes from expertise, experience, curiosity and a passion to perform. I deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people I work with.

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